Is there a gap in the UK between the workforce and workplace? Our report with YouGov, ‘Overhauling a culture of ‘Presenteeism’ at work’ recently revealed some employers haven’t yet recognised the benefits of flexible, tech-enabled working. Businesses that buy into a tech-enabled ways of working are more productive, and provide more flexibility to their employees. This is how we could narrow the gap between modern workers, and their place of work.
Young people today approach the workplace in a different way. In a digital age where communication occurs across different channels and multiple devices, productivity can take many shapes and forms. Employers ought to pay attention to the changing world around them, if they want to future-proof their business. Embracing the new landscape can pay dividends, so what are the key areas to focus on for business leaders?
A report by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) recently found the UK is fourteenth in the world for company level adoption of digital technology. What can we do to address these surprising findings? By embracing multiple locations and devices, businesses ought to be using technology to seamlessly support a more flexible workplace. There is already a wealth of expertise at the lower levels, which presents an opportunity for younger workers to train more senior staff on more flexible ways of working.
At Ricoh, we care about how organisations improve their mechanisms and workstyles, and we believe in practising what we preach. We’ve invested in a tech-enabled workplace, where employees hot-desk, reduce their travelling burden and have seen how this different style of working can actually harness productivity. Now is the time for businesses to address the digital divide, by thinking more carefully about work styles and empowering staff to adopt approaches to work that fit around them.
Young professionals really do represent the future of the workforce. As the next generation, they bring talent, enthusiasm and exciting new processes. As CEOs increasingly have to be aware of social media, and the pressures of a changing digital environment, we should expect increasing creativity to come from below. New technologies can seem intimidating, as some blur home and work, but this environment is an opportunity rather than a threat.
The UK government has now decided to grant every employee the right to request flexible working, meaning that employers should get ahead of the curve if they want to implement positive changes to harness productivity. We at Ricoh would love to see the government and business working together on this process, to identify problem areas and develop a culture of embracing technology rather than resisting change. Working from anywhere is a significant step for many organisations to take. But without the right technology to underpin this remote style of working, businesses risk being left behind. So start thinking today about how you can use the changing world to boost your business productivity.